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Photo of a harness racer
Harness racing in the 1999 Little Brown Jug

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Little Brown Jug Harness Race
A Local Legacy

Have you ever seen a horse race? How about a harness race? A harness race is one in which a horse pulls a light, two-wheeled vehicle called a sulky. Harness racing developed from the old days when horses and buggies raced each other on country roads or city streets.

Basically, there are two major types of horse racing -- riding a horse with a saddle and harness racing. There are two types of horses that compete in harness racing: one is the pacing horse, which moves both legs on one side of its body at the same time, and the other is the trotting horse, whose left front and right rear leg move forward at the same time, then right front and left rear leg move together. Because there are two types of horses, there are two kinds of harness racing: trotting or pacing.

If you want to see a horse pacing race go to Delaware, Ohio, for the Little Brown Jug Harness Race, which takes place every year on the third Thursday after Labor Day. The Little Brown Jug is a race for three-year-old pacing horses. The first race was held in 1946. Back then, trotting horses were more popular, but two men in the city liked pacing horses, so they formed the Little Brown Jug Society and organized the race.

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